Archives for November, 2008

Blorging the Blorologs

New Rule: students who can’t calculate their own grades should fail the course. Slavery ain’t so bad. “I am always annoyed by the fact that everyone has an opinion on evolution. Regardless of whether they can explain the first thing about how it works, they know whether they “believe in it” or disbelieve.” Israeli Software…

Markita Landry, a half-Bolivian, half-French Canadian physics Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, … used a tango to convey her thesis, “Single Molecule Measurements of Protelomerase TelK-DNA Complexes.” She is trying to understand how a protein called TelK bends DNA into hairpin loops. The mechanism makes for beautiful dance, with Landry bending like…

Vince LiCata, a biochemist at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, won this category with the help of his graduate students. The foursome danced a slow and graceful double pas de deux, representing the interaction of pairs of hemoglobin molecules from his 1990 Johns Hopkins University Ph.D. thesis, “Resolving Pathways of Functional Coupling in Human Hemoglobin…

The raw material for Miriam Sach’s solo contemporary dance was her 2004 Ph.D. thesis at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, titled “Cerebral activation patterns induced by inflection of regular and irregular verbs with positron emission tomography: A comparison between single subject and group analysis.” The question behind her research was whether different types of verbs…

Sue Lynn Lau chose classical ballet and highly kinetic party dancing as the way to interpret her Ph.D. thesis, “The role of vitamin D in beta-cell function.” As The Nutcracker Suite lilts in the background, Lau, a graduate student from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, appears as the Sugarplum Fairy, delivering…

Robert Price on Talk Radio

Minnesota Atheists’ “Atheists Talk” radio show. Sunday, November 30, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time Robert M. Price: “Inerrant the Wind” What has been the modern history of viewing the Bible as “inerrant” – that is, literally true in all its details? Prolific author Robert M. Price joins us to discuss his new book “Inerrant the…

Artist: Kelly Connole

I understand my surroundings and express my engagement with the world through imagery. Combining the tactile nature of clay with abstract images of memories, emotions, and research has fueled my passion to create for nearly twenty years. I am deeply connected to the earth beneath my feet and to that held in my hands as…

Mike, a.k.a. Tangled Up in Blue Guy, has received a letter from Adnan Oktar’s lawyer telling him, essentially, to shut down his site. Like this: With a view not to cause you any grievances by blocking access to a whole website, without prior notification, due to some statements in the site content of which your…

The Political Gender Gap

A new study published by Chiao et al. in the journal PLoS ONE explores the gendered nature of American voting behavior. Subjects were asked to rank politicians — based only on photographs of each politician’s face — along different quality scales, and also to choose among these photographs who should be President. The study concludes…

Darwin Limerick Contest Winners Announced

Poets they tried hard to win on Dispersal of ol man Darwin. Some limericks they wrote And truly they smote But winning was all ’bout affection Here.